We know for a fact that Superman is one of the strongest characters in the history of DC as he is basically the poster boy of superpowered comic book characters. In that regard, he is almost always the standard when it comes to incredibly powerful superheroes, as they need to measure up to Superman first before they can say that they are strong. And this has always been the case for many decades.
That said, the thing about Superman is that he has many different versions that are based on the different DC storylines that we have seen throughout the history of the character. All these versions have their own differences in terms of their powers and strength levels. As such, we are here to rank the strongest versions of Superman in the comics.
15. Cyborg Superman
Cyborg Superman didn’t belong to a different universe than the original Superman, but he did make his debut during a time when Superman wasn’t around. This happened after the Death of Superman, which resulted in the “death” of the Man of Steel after a battle with Doomsday. During the time when Superman was dead, the world needed his presence. Nevertheless, a cyborg version of the Man of Steel appeared and claimed to be the original Superman but was rebuilt by Kryptonian tech.
This man became known as Cyborg Superman. However, he was actually Hank Henshaw, a scientist who got exposed to cosmic radiation and gained the power to control and manipulate machinery. In that regard, he gave himself a new body when he possessed Superman’s birthing matrix. Cyborg Superman proved to be quite powerful and capable but was still ultimately defeated because he wasn’t as strong as the original.
14. Electric Superman
There was a time when DC tried to shake things up in the 90s to make Superman more interesting, and that was when they gave him energy-based abilities that seemed to be far from what the original Superman was. In that regard, Superman needed to wear a containment suit that helped him regulate his new powers, but he could turn back into a civilian Clark Kent at will at the cost of losing the ability to use his new powers.
This version of Superman didn’t have the super strength that he was always known for, but he was so strong that he could use energy fields to lift incredibly heavy objects. On top of that, he could also split his body into two so that he could perform different tasks, depending on what he needed to do. Electric Superman simply had a lot of different powers but was still not the same old Man of Steel that people grew to love.
No, this isn’t the classic Japanese superhero we are talking about here because the Ultraman in this conversation is simply a different version of Superman from a different universe. This Superman exists in Earth-3, which is the home of the Crime Society, which is basically the evil version of the Justice League. Of course, the man leading this group is Ultraman, who is the evil version of Superman in that universe.
In a lot of ways, Ultraman is similar to Superman in terms of his design and powers. Then again, he has no inhibition whatsoever because he doesn’t hold back whenever he is fighting due to the fact that he is evil. And the biggest twist is that he actually becomes more powerful when exposed to Kryptonite.
12. Red Son Superman
Of course, we are now once again looking at a villainous version of Superman, as there is always something special about creating corrupt versions of some of the most beloved superheroes of all time. In this case, Red Son Superman is simply different from the original Superman because he became a product of the place he grew up in.
Instead of landing in America, Red Son Superman landed in the Soviet Union, and that allowed the Soviets to weaponize him instead of allowing him to live a normal life. This version of Superman was brought up supporting the Communist regime and staying loyal to the Russian government. On top of that, he received severe training that not even the original Superman underwent, as Red Son Superman was always meant to be a weapon for the Reds. This allowed him to become quite strong as he paired his severe training with his misplaced sense of duty.
One of the most popularly strange characters in the history of comic books is Bizarro, who is simply a bizarre clone of the Man of Steel. He was often one of Superman’s enemies, but fans somehow liked him a lot due to his personality and bizarre origins. As such, he became one of the most sympathetic characters when it came to how the fans received him.
The thing about Bizarro is that he is basically the reverse version of Superman in the sense that his powers and abilities are somehow the opposites of what the Man of Steel has. So, instead of having heat vision and freeze breath, he has freeze vision and heat breath. On top of that, he is actually stronger than the original Superman due to the fact that he doesn’t restrict his strength whenever he’s fighting, as Superman always keeps his power in control so that he doesn’t kill his opponent or cause harm to anyone or anything within the area.
Brutaal is another bizarre version of the Man of Steel, and he isn’t exactly Superman himself. This version of Superman appeared in the New 52’s version of Earth-2 when Darkseid and his army attacked the planet. However, Earth was left defenseless because Superman, who appeared to have returned from the dead, defeated all of the heroes of Earth-2. This version was more powerful than the original one that died during the first attack that Darkseid launched on the planet.
Some of the superheroes of Earth-2 eventually discovered that this version of Superman was a clone created by Darkseid using Apokoliptian technology. However, he eventually lost to Val-Zod, who became the new Superman of Earth-2 because the original one never returned. And we’ll talk more about Val-Zod as we proceed with this list.
9. Superman: The Dark Side
Of course, we have another dark and evil version of Superman on this list, as villainous versions of the Man of Steel tend to be quite strong due to the fact that they don’t limit themselves and what they’re capable of. This time, we are looking at the version of Superman in The Dark Side as this version of the character became one of Darkseid’s henchmen after a brutal war that changed the entire history of Earth.
In Superman: The Dark Side, Superman is trained to become brutal by Darkseid and his forces as he ends up becoming one of the darkest versions of the character. In that regard, he seeks to cause chaos and destruction all over the universe and is far deadlier than most of the other versions of the character. And, of course, he is the one leading Darkseid’s army in their invasion of Earth and the heroes that protect the planet.
8. Injustice Superman
One of the most popular comic book storylines that ultimately earned itself a video game version is Injustice, which follows how Joker was able to trick Superman into killing Lois Lane and causing the destruction of Metropolis. This forced Superman to do the unthinkable—killing the Clown Prince of Crime. He eventually realized that he needed to become more assertive in terms of his command over Earth and the people that try to do evil so that nobody would ever go through what he just endured.
In this comic book storyline, Superman killed plenty of different superheroes that tried to get in his way, all while recruiting villains into his army. On top of that, he was able to convince a lot of other superheroes to follow him. The only exception was Batman, who didn’t believe in Superman’s brand of justice, and this led to an all-out war between the two. In the end, the only other character strong enough to defeat Superman was another Superman from a different universe.
7. Calvin Ellis Superman
Now that we have gotten through some of the most prominent evil versions of the Man of Steel, we are now looking at a more political version of the character as Calvin Ellis is one of the most powerful Superman versions in the DC multiverse. Instead of Kal-El landing on a farm in Kansas, a Black Kryptonian named Calvin Ellis was sent to Earth to escape his planet’s destruction. Nevertheless, he didn’t grow up trying to fit into society as he became quite ambitious in terms of his political and civic duties.
In that regard, Calvin Ellis worked hard enough to become the President of the United States as he earned a position that allowed him to better protect his world politically and physically. He still carried his role as Superman and even became a multiverse hero when he teamed up with the other versions of the character during the Infinite Frontier era.
Earth-2 was able to find a new Superman in the form of Val-Zod, who was one of the Kryptonians that were able to escape the destruction of Krypton. Of course, the original Superman also existed in this universe but ended up getting killed early in his career after an attack by Darkseid on Earth. In that regard, the planet was left without a Superman to defend it from its Apokoliptian invaders.
However, another Superman rose up to take the mantle from the Man of Steel as Val-Zod, a survivor of Krypton, became a more powerful version of the character. Val-Zod is stronger because he knows how to use the energy fields that are powered by the yellow sun. In that regard, he was powerful enough to defeat Brutaal, who was said to be stronger than the original Superman himself.
5. Jon Kent
Jon Kent isn’t necessarily another version of Superman from a different universe but is actually the legacy of the Man of Steel himself. This character existed during the pre-Flashpoint version of the DC universe as Clark Kent and Lois Lane were able to give birth to Jonathan Samuel Kent, who inherited his father’s powers. He even started fighting crime alongside Superman before he inherited the Superman name and legacy himself.
Throughout the storyline, Jon Kent spent a lot of time traveling through different timelines with his grandfather, Jor-El, as he was able to learn from his many experiences. While his powers are similar to Superman’s, the thing that makes him unique is the fact that he is much more creative at using his powers. On top of that, due to the fact that he is still young, he still has plenty of room to grow as he could end up surpassing Kal-El in almost all of the areas that made Superman so great.
4. Kingdom Come Superman
This version of Superman proves that not all of them are the same because he was able to overcome his own grief after losing people that he loved. In that regard, Kingdom Come Superman is different from the original Man of Steel in the sense that he didn’t turn into a megalomaniac that wanted to keep the world under his control for his own twisted sense of peace and justice. Instead, this Superman was able to work through the pain of loss to become better.
The fact that Kingdom Come Superman was able to get out of his toughest days in one piece was what made him stronger than ever. He was empowered by his inner strength, and this was what allowed him to prove his worth as one of the greatest superheroes in the history of the planet. As such, he is proof that true strength comes from overcoming your own demons.
3. All-Star Superman
One of the greatest storylines in the history of the Superman comics is All-Star Superman, as this was one of the most colorful and creative tales about the Man of Steel. This is also one of the most inspirational stories of Superman as it focuses a lot on his strength of character and his commitment to his ideology of keeping maintaining peace and justice without having to kill.
In All-Star Superman, the Man of Steel got overdosed in solar radiation, and that was what allowed him to become incredibly powerful to the point that he made quick work of some of the strongest superheroes and villains that challenged him. Nevertheless, his greatest strength throughout this entire storyline was the fact that he stayed true to his beliefs and ideologies as a superhero until the very end of the tale.
2. Cosmic Armor Superman
Cosmic Armor Superman is basically a Thought Robot that eventually became one of the strongest versions of Superman, even though it might be one of the weirdest ones of all time. This creature is somewhat strange in the sense that it isn’t quite human but isn’t artificial as well. Created by the Monitors, which are some of the strongest beings in the DC universe, the Thought Robot is capable of altering reality.
The Thought Robot was created so that Superman could battle something stronger than he could ever face. After the battle was done, the Thought Robot eventually merged with the entire universe’s consciousness and became a Superman version that exceeded almost every other version of the Man of Steel except for the one at the top of this list.
1. Superman Prime
The strongest version of Superman is Superman Prime, who debuted during the DC One Million event. This version of Superman spent 15,000 years inside the sun as he was drenched in its yellow radiation to become an even stronger version than himself. In that regard, he became a god in his own right due to the fact that his exposure to the sun for thousands of years allowed him to increase his powers exponentially.
In that regard, Superman Prime became faster and stronger than any of his other versions, and his powers were increased to unthinkable levels. While he didn’t have new powers, he is simply immeasurably stronger than the regular version of the character. As such, this is the “prime” version of Clark Kent in the sense that it displayed just how powerful the Man of Steel can be when he is truly given the juice he needs to become the strongest version of himself.